Mr. Bradbury, Your TV Parlor (Reality Deck) Is Ready

Stony Brook University has just shown off their new Reality Deck, a 1.5 billion pixel display that takes up all four walls in a large room.


(Stony Brook's new Reality Deck)

Stony Brook University unveiled its latest engineering feat, a 1.5 billion pixel Reality Deck, at a demonstration held at the University's Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) on November 15, 2012. The Reality Deck, a 416 screen super-high resolution virtual reality four-walled surround-view theater, is the largest resolution immersive display ever built driven by a graphic supercomputer. Its purpose and primary design principle is to enable scientists, engineers and physicians to tackle modern-age problems that require the visualization of vast amounts of data.

Fans of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 will have no problem seeing this as the realization of the tv parlor from the novel. In the story, people with means replaced all four walls in a room with wall-sized TVs, creating a "TV parlor":

The door to the parlor opened and Mildred stood there looking in at them, looking at Beatty and then at Montag. Behind her the walls of the room were flooded with green and yellow and orange fireworks sizzling and bursting to some music composed almost completely of trap-drums, tom-toms and cymbals. Her mouth moved and she was saying something but the sound covered it...
(Read more about Bradbury's parlour walls

Given that this incredible display is backed by an equally remarkable computer system, and is of interest to the military, I also thought of the Directrix from EE 'Doc' Smith's 1942 novel Gray Lensman. I hope military planners will take 'Doc' Smith's caveats at the end of the quote seriously:

The "tank" (the minutely cubed model of the galaxy which is a necessary part of every pilot room) had grown and grown as it became evident that it must be the prime agency in Grand Fleet Operations. Finally, in this last rebuilding, the tank was seven hundred feet in diameter and eighty feet thick in the middle"over seventeen million cubic feet of space in which more than two million tiny lights crawled hither and thither in helpless confusion. For, after the technicians and designers had put that tank into actual service, they had discovered that it was useless. No available mind had been able either to perceive the situation as a whole or to identify with certainty any light or group of lights needing correction; and as for linking up any particular light with its individual, blanket-proof communicator in time to issue orders in space- combat...!

Read more about the Reality Deck - Immersive Gigapixel Display.

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